Monday, May 14, 2007
First Week in Cluj-Napoca
Well, here I am in Cluj-Napoca, my new home town. I have been here for one very eventful week in the historic capital of Transylvania. (I just discovered, by the way, that this city is mentioned on the first page of Dracula by Bram Stoker, only then it was a German city called Claussenberg - cool huh?) I have been meeting new people pretty much every day and getting to know the city. It is a big city, the third biggest in the country, and a very important city on Romania. It is also the best and most fun city in the country, in my humble opinion - but don't trust me - ask around and people will say the same thing. I think it has something to do with the huge college scene here and all the fun things to do. Robert Kaplan says in Balkan Ghosts that "There is no city in all of the Balkans quite so entrancing as Cluj". Anyway, enough hyping of the city. I moved here last Sunday from Ploiesti with all of my stuff along with five other Peace Corps volunteers (in the same compartment, no less). I moved in with my second host family, and I then spent the week getting to know some of the other volunteers here, several members of my organization, and just generally getting to know the city. So far, I love it. It may just be the most fun city I have ever lived in, which is saying something because Fort Collins was pretty awesome. However, there is three times as many college students here and an old-world European atmosphere that just can't be compared to anything in the states. Anyway, here are some pictures from the train ride and from around Cluj.